7.0/10
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36 user 17 critic

The Wizard of Lies (2017)

TV-MA | | Biography, Crime, Drama | TV Movie 20 May 2017
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A chronicle of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, which defrauded his clients of billions of dollars.

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(nonfiction book), | 2 more credits »
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Stephanie Madoff
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Nicole De Bello
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Dan Horwitz
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Manoff Victim
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SEC Investigator
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Reporter
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David Sheehan
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Storyline

A chronicle of Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, which defrauded his clients of billions of dollars.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Only those you trust can truly betray you.

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Biography | Crime | Drama

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TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

20 May 2017 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hazugságok mágusa  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the fourth collaboration between Barry Levinson and Robert De Niro. Together, they made Sleepers (1996), Wag the Dog (1997) and What Just Happened (2008). See more »

Goofs

When Mark Madoff's wife checks her phone the morning of his suicide, she has 4 messages from him. She opens the first two, which are dated December 11, 2010. However, the screen showing the list of text messages has all 4 of them dated 9/30/2015. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 22 May 2017 (2017) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Big Short It Is Not
21 May 2017 | by (san francisco) – See all my reviews

An interesting attempt to weave a story line on the Madoff ponzi scheme but one that in the end is disjoint, incomplete, and largely unsatisfying. It certainly falls far short of other great financial movies – the Big Short, Margin Call, and Smartest Guys in the Room, to name a few. Worth watching but not likely a movie to savor, add closure, provide moral assurance, or make you feel anything.

Too many moving pieces that lack grounding – the time line has no center and the flashbacks and jumps forward are too disjoint, too many supporting characters are painted as morally ambiguous, and the many defrauded clients are nameless and faceless.

As for the some of the details, it's hard to get around Michelle Pfeiffer accent. It may be spot-on but the voice is just annoying. Add in Robert De Niro's unbalanced intonations and a discordant soundtrack and sound-editing and it is not a movie that will sit well with your ears.

It should have been done as a 3-4 part mini-series. They would have had a lot more time to not only relay the full time line and details of the case but also go into the many interesting sub-stories and tragedies. For example, the efforts of Harry Markopolos to unmask the fraud is addressed only by showing Bernie and Ruth watching 30 seconds of testimony on the TV in their condo. The questions of the hundreds of millions potentially transferred to London accounts for the benefit of Madoff relatives is not explored. The ineptitude of the SEC, FINRA and other agencies is also given short-shrift. Did you know that Shana Madoff, the chief compliance officer and niece of Bernie Madoff, married an Assistant Director of the Office of Compliance Investigations and Examinations at the SEC. They met in 2003 when he was performing an examination as to whether Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme. The SEC Director of Compliance Investigations and Examinations attended their wedding in 2007.

As it is, the movie dips its toe into the $64.8B (yes $64.8 billion) fraud case and provides some insights as to who in the inner circle may or may not have been culpable– all in the course largely telling a family drama. Interesting and entertaining, yes. A good film, meh. Disappointing for what it could have been, most definitely.


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